Campus & Community

Enterprise Transformation Expert Joins Stevens as the Alexander Crombie Humphreys Chair

Joining the School of Systems and Enterprises at Stevens this fall as the Alexander Crombie Humphreys Chair in Economics of Engineering is Dr. William B. Rouse, an accomplished academic, researcher, author and consultant.

Rouse brings with him more than 30 years of experience in the areas of enterprise design, transformation and change, as well as an unbridled passion for propelling forward the study of engineering economics and engineering management – with the goal of changing the world.

“My work is focused on applying engineering concepts to the study of large and complicated systems like healthcare, finance and energy,” said Rouse. “Doing this in a very systemic manner can help us understand the economic and societal consequences of design decisions and policy decisions related to these systems.”

At Stevens, Rouse will also help to found and lead a new campus-wide research center called the Center for Complex Systems and Enterprises, which will focus on developing mathematical and computational models for enterprises in four domains – energy, healthcare, financial systems and national security.

“The Center for Complex Systems and Enterprises will unite interdisciplinary teams to work on these large problems,” said Rouse, who will also teach an undergraduate course on the economics of engineering and an undetermined graduate-level course. “How to reform the healthcare system is not one faculty member’s problem. How to make the energy grid more efficient cannot be accomplished by one researcher.”

Through research, publications and outreach, Rouse hopes the Center for Complex Systems and Enterprises will impact policy and management decisions at the various agencies and companies involved in these four important domains. He’s especially excited by a concept he calls the “policy flight simulator” that will be a unique offering of the center.

“The idea is to enable policymakers and business leaders to ‘drive the future before writing the check,’” he said. “If they can see all of the alternatives first and consider how their decisions impact various stakeholders, they can find a solution within the sweet spot.”

Rouse has authored many books on enterprise transformation and engineering economics, and contributed to numerous National Academy of Engineering activities on related subjects.

He also led a similar – highly successful – initiative at Georgia Institute of Technology, where he worked since 2001. With joint appointments in the College of Computing and School of Industrial Systems Engineering, Rouse was also Executive Director of the Tennenbaum Institute for Enterprise Transformation, which involved all six of Georgia Tech’s colleges in research and education on enterprise transformation.

Rouse is also a member of the research council of the Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC), which works to further systems research and its impact on issues of global significance. The SERC is led by Stevens in collaboration with more than 20 universities, including Georgia Tech, which will host the group’s annual Conference on Systems Engineering Research in March 2013.

Rouse’s arrival at Stevens will undoubtedly advance the collective systems engineering research activities of Stevens, Georgia Tech and the SERC. In fact, Rouse thinks Stevens is extremely well-suited to take the concepts studied within the Tennenbaum Institute and the SERC to the next level.

“Stevens has an outstanding leadership team that understands the importance of getting students and faculty from all four schools involved in confronting these societal challenges,” Rouse said. “Also, the School of Systems and Enterprises is very unique. It is already an innovator that can move quickly and adapt to opportunities and challenges.”

“We are very fortunate to have a faculty member of the caliber of Dr. Rouse join the faculty in the School of Systems and Enterprises,” said SSE Dean Dinesh Verma. “His leadership will propel our research in the area of socio-technical systems and extended enterprises within the domains of healthcare delivery, renewable energy, security and financial systems.”


On Tuesday, December 11th Stevens Institute of Technology will host an all-day event to celebrate the launch of the Center for Complex Systems and Enterprises (CCSE).   The event will feature a roundtable of key leaders from government and industry who will be introduced to the Center’s research vision, mission and portfolio.